View Full Version : Photos of your drylots with geotextile/footing?
Feb. 29, 2012, 09:16 AM
I'm seriously considering doing the geotextile/screenings thing for our dry lot. I will most likely wait until summer, when the mud is completely gone and the dry lot is at its smoothest.
A few questions:
- If your paddock is not level, how bad was puddling with the geo/screenings vs. the old paddock? Ours is on a slope with a leveled off section at the bottom, for the most part, it does not puddle terribly, so I am assuming it will only improve with a better drainage system.
- Do you pick the paddock every day?
- Did you feel it was 'soft' enough for your horses? Mine like to take their afternoon nap, full on laid out flat.
- Did you worry about them eating some of the screenings?
- How often did you need to replenish the screenings due to runoff?
Thanks for any pictures and some insight! I'm tired of the mud!!!!
Feb. 29, 2012, 09:31 AM
The purpose of the geofabric is limit the gravel from "sinking" in the mud. It really doesn't do much to encourage or restrict water from sinking in to ground. It probably does have some effect on "runoff." I'm not sure how much.
Think of it as putting a piece of screen on the ground. If you put gravel over the piece of screen, what happens? That will happen with geofabric.
We have an "apron" of geofabric around our tractor shed barn. It has done a very good job in stabilizing areas where equipment and vehicles use. These are different pressures than horse hooves, but it should work reasonably well.
Still, as with any "dirt moving" project, you have to do the underlying site preparation correctly.
Feb. 29, 2012, 09:55 AM
We did a major rehab of our paddock last year ... best money I have ever spent on a farm project.
Our sacrifice paddock has a slight slope and was a major mud pit after any rain. We started by digging out all the mucky-muddy-manure-y mess, then put in several loads of Crusher Run. The geotext fabric went on top of the CR. Stonedust went on top of the fabric and in high traffic areas (outside the stall doors, around the water tank and hay feeder), rubber mats when on top of the stonedust. I used ring mats, the kind you find in wash stalls, to insure good drainage. Pictures are available here:
I do not worry about the horses eating any of the stonedust -- the main areas where I place hay all have mats. I do muck out about every 2-3 days, which is now much easier to do than it was with regular dirt. I can do this by hand with a cart; before required the tractor and the husband to help because the manure would be so mixed into the dirt.
Feb. 29, 2012, 02:41 PM
We originally put in geotextile and rock for our dry paddocks that are attached to stalls, but my young and bored warmblood boys discovered that digging was a great game. They would make huge holes, down to the fabric and beyond, and it was a horrible mess. Before the youngsters were in there, when it was just my retired guy and a mini mule, the paddocks did great.
So I went with Hoof-Grid in my paddocks instead -- we pretty much laid the grid on top of the old fabric/rock layer (which we had evened out with a slight slope away from the barn to promote runoff). Then backfilled with small 3/8" or less pea gravel. Works great.
I do pick the manure every day, multiple times during the day (we work from home so it is easy) since they otherwise tend to mush it in to the rock and it is easier to get it before that happens. My paddocks are not very big -- one is 30x30 and flat while the other is 30x60, down a hill (only the top part of that one is in Hoof-Grid, the rest is still the old geotextile fabric and rock as they pretty much only dug up the top part).
Now my retired horse and mini mule live at a neighbor's place with her horse, and they have the geotextile/rock paddocks there and that has worked well for them. I think those are about 20'x50' or longer and we don't have to clean those every day as they aren't as messy.
For photos, I had put together a bunch from when we put the Hoof-Grid in to document that we installed it correctly (for the warranty), so you can see them here: (and pay no attention to the crazy temp fencing everywhere -- we had to do some temp tape lines to keep the horses back while we worked)
From before installing the grids (so these were the original geotextile and rock paddocks, and a very messy overhang area):
While installing the grids, and we also built a "box" to hold the mats under the overhang and rematted that area:
After the grids were in and backfilled with pea gravel:
I really wish I'd brought the video cam down to catch the first attempts at digging by the two boys after we got the grids in. They still try once in a while even after having the grids for almost two years now. Worth every penny to not have to fill holes or listen to SO's exasperation!
Feb. 29, 2012, 03:05 PM
We dug out our muddy sacrifice paddocks, placed geotextile down, then large gravel topped by 6" or so of stonedust. Easy to keep clean (we do clean daily) and no mud ever. Did the first one three years ago and it has held up nicely - did the second one last fall. Only problem I am seeing is that the horses pee in one spot and it is getting a mite stinky over there. I may put a slow drip hose on it at some point to see if I can dilute the pee or try adding something like lime before I give up and dig it out and replace the stone dust.
Feb. 29, 2012, 03:23 PM
I do get some puddling, after a heavy rain, as my area was not level, but it frankly hasn't been a problem, and dries quickly. The slope to the bottom half of my sacrifice area really helps.
I used geo cloth and screenings (fine gravel/pea gravel size). I pick daily, and have mats under the overhang on the barn for feeding hay. My barn is set up like Horsepoor's is--Dutch doors open to overhang into paddock. I have added footing twice in 7 years, and will add again. I am thinking of completing the lower portion of the sacrifice area with cloth/gravel, as it currently is dirt and gets muddy when they go down into that area.
I actually have a sand pile for rolling, which is awesome! I'm adding more sand to it this year as well. They love to lay in it.
Feb. 29, 2012, 04:37 PM
Forgot to address the eating issue...that's why we matted our overhang so they can have hay there on the "patio" so no worries about injecting rock/screenings. Where we don't have the grids, but just the geotextile and rock, since the top layer is pea gravel so it doesn't pack hard, the horses will lay/roll. Since the grids are firm and only covered with a couple inches of pea gravel, they don't lay/roll there. But they have the stalls to lay down in, and when they have pasture access, roll there. My retired horse likes to get a nice coat of mud in the pasture, then come roll in the gravel to get a nice second layer...I look out and wonder what gray horse snuck into the paddock (he's supposed to be bay)!